Cold and windy weather together with the drying effects of central heating can leave your skin feeling dry and dull. We have looked at what you can do to keep your winter skin healthy and glowing going down the natural route.
Exfoliating removes the top layer of dead skin cells that make skin look dull and dry. Keep it gentle though, as using harsh exfoliators will strip your skin of its natural protective moisture barrier and limit to 2 or 3 times per week. For sensitive skin, natural fruit enzymes such as papaya extract break down dead cells without the need for any abrasives. A twice-weekly exfoliation of your body will also help prevent winter concerns, such as scaly legs and dry knees and elbows.
We have listed a few recipes for homemade remedies below.
Make a homemade Natural Oil and Sugar scrub
This is a quick and easy, naturally moisturizing and exfoliating scrub you can easily make at home
Combine ½ cup of sugar with 2 tbsp of olive oil, If you want, you can also add an essential oil like lavender, which adds a natural fragrance and can promote relaxation.
Gently rub the scrub into your skin, and then wash it off.
Finish off by using a soothing moisturizer to lock in the benefits of freshly exfoliated skin.
Make a homemade Oatmeal Honey Mask
Oatmeal is a great ingredient for an exfoliating and hydrating mask.
Mix 2 tbsp of oats with 1 tbsp of honey and a dash of water.
Warm up the mixture, then rub it into your skin.
You can use it just to exfoliate and wash it off right away, or leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes as a soothing, hydrating mask.
There are 2 ways you can help moisturise your skin:
Eat Essential Fats
Essential fats moisturise your skin from the inside, giving you supple and glowing skin. Oily fish is the best source and ideally should be eaten two or three times a week. If you don’t eat fish, it is definitely worth considering an omega-3 supplement. Other good sources are nuts and seeds especially flax, pumpkin and chia seeds. Nuts and seeds also provide a healthy dose of vitamin E, another essential skin nutrient, which helps skin retain moisture, aids healing and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Use moisturising face masks, face creams and body butters
The list of culprits that can cause dry skin is a long one, from daily bathing habits (think hot showers and scrubbing yourself dry with a towel) and wicked winter weather to a lack of natural oils in your skin as you age.
The range of skincare products available to buy is, of course, huge but you could also make your own.
Moisturising Avocado and Olive Oil Face Mask
This is a great DIY recipe for soothing and moisturising dry skin and the best part is that it delivers immediate results! The good fats in olive oil and avocado nourish dry, ageing skin. It’s best to use this face mask after spritzing your face with water. This will allow the fats to seal the moisture into your skin. Also, the antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil will help your skin battle off signs of ageing.
It’s important to make this mask with the best quality olive oil that you can find. You might be surprised to know that many of the olive oils found in supermarkets have cheaper oils mixed in as fillers. These oils are not as healthy to eat, plus they will clog pores.
¼ tsp extra virgin olive oil.
Combine avocado and olive oil together and apply to your face. Keep the mask on until it dries a bit, approx 10 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Recipe borrow from: http://www.eatthriveglow.com/avocado-olive-oil-face-mask/
So, remember to keep drinking water and especially when you're exercising and afterwards.
How to calculate how much to drink.
How much you need to drink depends on your weight and your activity level. By following the steps below you can calculate how much you should drink to stay hydrated:
Your weight: The first step to knowing how much water to drink every day is to know your weight. The amount of water a person should drink varies on their weight, which makes sense because the more someone weighs the more water they need to drink. A 14st man and 7st woman require different amounts of water every day.
Multiply by 2/3: Next you want to multiply your weight by 2/3 (or 67%) to determine how much water to drink daily. For example, if you weighed 12.5st you would multiply that by 2/3 and learn you should be drinking about 117 ounces (around 3.5 litres) of water every day.
Activity Level: Finally you should adjust that number based on how often you work out since you are expelling water when you sweat. You should add 12 ounces (350 ml) of water to your daily total for every 30 minutes that you work out. So if you work out for 45 minutes daily, you would add 18 ounces (530 ml) of water to your daily intake.
4. Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin C is essential for healthy collagen production, which helps maintain the strength and elasticity of our skin. Peppers, green leafy vegetables, kiwis, broccoli, berries, citrus fruit, tomatoes, peas and papaya are top sources. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron, which is needed for transporting oxygen around the body, including to the skin and can be found in lean meat, spinach, kale, seeds and beans. B complex vitamins are another skin essential and are found in whole grains, fish, nuts, eggs and broccoli.
5. Don't forget your lips, hands and feet
Lips, hands and feet often suffer in the cold weather and need some extra TLC. Regularly apply lip balms containing shea butter or beeswax, plus natural oils such as argan or avocado oil to protect and moisturise lips. With the extra amount of hand sanitiser, we're currently using due to Covid19 it's important to apply hand cream after washing your hands. As a pampering treatment, apply a thick layer of hand and foot cream before bed and soft cotton gloves and socks and wake up with silky soft hands and feet.
6, Keep Exercising
Exercise is essential for good circulation, which carries nutrients and oxygen to feed your skin – the health of your skin is completely dependent on the nutrients it receives this way. It also removes waste products and toxins that can cause breakouts and dull skin. Exercise also improves the functioning of the immune system, energy levels and sleep quality – all of which can suffer in winter. It also helps manage stress, which is your skin’s worst enemy.
Space Fitness & Wellbeing has a great range of live, interactive online fitness classes you can join from anywhere in the world via Zoom - take a look at our timetable:
7. Dress for winter and don't forget UV protection
UV rays that cause skin damage and ageing penetrate through the clouds, so wearing SPF is still an important step in your winter skincare. There are two kinds of SPF, providing either a chemical or a physical barrier. The latter is more natural, as they don’t contain chemicals and they also provide the best protection. Look out for products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. In addition, protect yourself against the winter elements by wrapping up warm and covering the delicate skin around your face and neck. Remember to put on your gloves before you go outside into the winter air, to prevent dryness and chapping,
8. Skin-friendly baths
Natural oils are great for moisturizing the skin and helping to re-create the natural skin barrier, which is often damaged by frequent hand and face washing with water and drying soaps that strip the skin of its natural protective oils. Aside from olive oil or coconut oil, you can test out other natural oils that are free from irritants, including jojoba, argan and avocado oils. Try adding a few tablespoons of the desired oil under running bathwater. Treat yourself to a short soak and gently pat your skin dry afterwards to avoid rubbing all the oil off. You can also apply a small amount of your preferred oil to your skin post-shower to keep it soft and moist.